Steve Hampton: Figure Drawing: Design and Invention.
I took one of his classes back when I went to art school and he’s an incredible professor and instructor. I’d advise people to look through his studies and even buy his book. It’s not necisarilly how to draw correct anatomy but to know it while making it stylized. His class basically teaches the mechanics of the body while using imagination.
Seriously, I recommend anyone to attending one of his online workshops. It’s kind of pricey but much more affordable than what I paid. Then again I had my own benefits.
somebody asked me for theme-making tips yesterday or something and i only just remembered my bookmarks folder of theme-making stuff
- css3 generator - yay easy css creator for lazy people, good for learning about transitions and stuff
- webcreme - pretty and professionally-designed websites to use as inspiration and stuff
- color-palettes - color schemes
- colourlovers - more color schemes
- color scheme designer - even more color schemes
- upload static files - for hosting fonts and images and such
- css arrow please - arrow generators, to use instead of ►◄▼▲ symbols
- web symbols - a web font thing with some nice symbols to use for like/reblog/etc buttons
Alright, I’ve talked about things to consider as you’re naming your book, and we’ve also held an event where followers could send in their titles for our brief first impression. I also talked a bit on avoiding clichés in your titles in a recent 250 Words Smash (with some exceptions, of course).
Titles are tough stuff, for sure. Sometimes it feels like a title is one part what we think sounds cool, and ninety-nine parts worrying about what everyone else thinks about it.
But what’s even tougher than that?
Now there’s the question of birthing a rad title two or three or seventeen times and making every title hold hands with each other. If you plan your books one at a time (instead of roughly or extensively planning out every book in the series all at once), this can be especially frustrating, because you might come up with a title so unique and immaculate that it hurts to look at—but, oh heck, how can such brilliance be replicated?
And, also, what about the overarching series name? There’s the type of series name that exists like Sookie Stackhouse – to be placed beneath the title of the book. Then, there is the type of series name that exists like Harry Potter, which is placed above the title of the book.
Firstly, let’s take a look at some popular fiction titles with their series names.
Anonymous asked: Any advice on how to brainstorm for plots?
TONS! I’ll list some of my favorites, but first, the preparation!
Brainstorming - The Preparation
1) Start with a long walk, a run, or some other kind of exercise if you can. Many writers feel exercise makes them more creative, and there’s science to back up the reason why that’s so.
2) Before you sit down to brainstorm, pick a distraction-free time and place, if you can. Mood lighting, a scented candle, a table fountain—these are all great things to help you feel relaxed and inspired.
3) If you can, pick a pretty notebook and some colored pens, or use a zenware writing program like, Ommwriter or ZenWriter, which can further minimize distraction and get your creative juices flowing. If you prefer using a word document, try choosing a pretty font and text color.
4) Make sure you’ve eaten so you won’t be tempted to get up or snack in the middle of your brainstorming session. It’s ok if you want to have a drink, though. A nice hot cup of coffee is a writer favorite.
Ok, onto the actual brainstorming!
Brainstorming - The Process
1) If you’re starting from scratch, you might first try choosing a genre that interests you, then make a list of all the things about that genre that interest you. Another option would be to write down your ten favorite novels, then make a list of the prominent details of each novel, to see what story details tend to excite you most. Look at keywords on your list to see if you get the starting point of a plot.
2) Try doing some writing prompts to see if a plot develops. You can find prompt sites all over tumblr. Here are some of my favorites: Writing Prompts, Writing Prompts That Don’t Suck, Prompts & Pointers, Photo Prompts, Daily Writing Prompts, and Write World.
3) Pictures are a fantastic idea generator. Try going to your browser’s image search function and type a word that interests you to see what comes up. Fair warning, though, image searches can sometimes present you with things you don’t want to see. You may want to get into the settings and toggle the filters to limit the chances of that happening. You can also search tumblr for pictures that inspire you.
4) Music is a fantastic way to get inspired. Put your MP3 player on random or go to a site like Pandora, and really listen to the lyrics. Imagine the people who are experiencing the things happening in the songs, and try imagining the stories the songs tell into settings and scenarios that interest you.
5) Make a random list! Really—set a timer for 30 seconds and write down as many random words as you can think of, then go back through and see if there are any interesting keywords or patterns that inspire you.
6) I know it sounds crazy, but try a plot generator! Usually they come up with implausible or silly results, but sometimes even the silliest suggestions can spark better ideas. Here are some to try: Plot Scenario Generator, Plot Generator, Seventh Sanctum Story Generator, Plot-o-tron, TV Tropes Story (Idea) Generator, Hatch’s Plot Bank
7) Read through the 36 dramatic situations and see if anything jumps out at you. This link even picks one for you.
8) Start with your protagonist. If you don’t have one yet, think one up. What kind of person has a story you’d like to tell? When you have someone in mind, sit down and just start writing about a normal day for them. Imagine that you are a camera crew following them from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to sleep. Write down everything the “camera” sees. What do they do? Who do they talk to? Where do they go? You can even do little interviews to ask them how they feel about certain things. Very often, other important characters and story elements will start to reveal themselves, which can help you figure out a plot.
9) Go to Amazon.com or Goodreads and pull up a list of books in the genre you’re interested in, Pick a random title and write it down, then write what you think the story is about based on the title. No peeking at the real summary! Do this several times, and if a story idea doesn’t come to you, you might at least have some interesting nuggets that you can combine into a story idea.
10) If all else fails, try stepping outside of your writing zone to look for ideas. Go do some people watching and see if anyone interesting catches your eye. Try listening to conversations as people pass by and see if anything inspires you. Take a little day trip someplace interesting if you can—especially if you can find someplace that might cater to the genre you want to write in, like a historic site, a science museum, or a quaint little town. You can also see if there’s anything interesting in your family history that might give you some ideas. Flip through old family albums or memento boxes for inspiration. You can also try looking around an antique store to see if anything inspires you. And last but not least, if nothing else works, just sit someplace quiet and relaxing and let your mind wander. Imagine adventures you’d like to have, or imagine the story you’d most love to read right now. Who knows? That might give you just the idea you were looking for!
So I’ve come across a number of people who play characters from London or have a roleplay set in London and are little confused or need help on some of the smaller details. This is going to be a series of quick guides on what it’s like to live in London and just hopefully help with some research. This guide contains general information for the United Kingdom, in particular England, but any schools named are specific to London.
100 Beautiful and Ugly Words
by Mark Nichol
One of the many fascinating features of our language is how often words with pleasant associations are also quite pleasing on the tongue and even to the eye, and how many words, by contrast, acoustically and visually corroborate their disagreeable nature — look no further than the heading for this post.
Enrich the poetry of your prose by applying words that provide precise connotation while also evoking emotional responses
- Amorphous: indefinite, shapeless
- Beguile: deceive
- Caprice: impulse
- Cascade: steep waterfall
- Cashmere: fine, delicate wool
- Chrysalis: protective covering
- Cinnamon: an aromatic spice; its soft brown color
- Coalesce: unite, or fuse
- Crepuscular: dim, or twilit
- Crystalline: clear, or sparkling
- Desultory: half-hearted, meandering
- Diaphanous: gauzy
- Dulcet: sweet
- Ebullient: enthusiastic
- Effervescent: bubbly
- Elision: omission
- Enchanted: charmed
- Encompass: surround
- Enrapture: delighted
- Ephemeral: fleeting
- Epiphany: revelation
- Epitome: embodiment of the ideal
- Ethereal: celestial, unworldly, immaterial
- Etiquette: proper conduct
- Evanescent: fleeting
- Evocative: suggestive
- Exuberant: abundant, unrestrained, outsize
- Felicity: happiness, pleasantness
- Filament: thread, strand
- Halcyon: care-free
- Idyllic: contentedly pleasing
- Incorporeal: without form
- Incandescent: glowing, radiant, brilliant, zealous
- Ineffable: indescribable, unspeakable
- Inexorable: relentless
- Insouciance: nonchalance
- Iridescent: luster
- Languid: slow, listless
- Lassitude: fatigue
- Lilt: cheerful or buoyant song or movement
- Lithe: flexible, graceful
- Lullaby: soothing song
- Luminescence: dim chemical or organic light
- Mellifluous: smooth, sweet
- Mist: cloudy moisture, or similar literal or virtual obstacle
- Murmur: soothing sound
- Myriad: great number
- Nebulous: indistinct
- Opulent: ostentatious
- Penumbra: shade, shroud, fringe
- Plethora: abundance
- Quiescent: peaceful
- Quintessential: most purely representative or typical
- Radiant: glowing
- Redolent: aromatic, evocative
- Resonant: echoing, evocative
- Resplendent: shining
- Rhapsodic: intensely emotional
- Sapphire: rich, deep bluish purple
- Scintilla: trace
- Serendipitous: chance
- Serene: peaceful
- Somnolent: drowsy, sleep inducing
- Sonorous: loud, impressive, imposing
- Spherical: ball-like, globular
- Sublime: exalted, transcendent
- Succulent: juicy, tasty, rich
- Suffuse: flushed, full
- Susurration: whispering
- Symphony: harmonious assemblage
- Talisman: charm, magical device
- Tessellated: checkered in pattern
- Tranquility: peacefulness
- Vestige: trace
- Zenith: highest point
- Cacophony: confused noise
- Cataclysm: flood, catastrophe, upheaval
- Chafe: irritate, abrade
- Coarse: common, crude, rough, harsh
- Cynical: distrustful, self-interested
- Decrepit: worn-out, run-down
- Disgust: aversion, distaste
- Grimace: expression of disgust or pain
- Grotesque: distorted, bizarre
- Harangue: rant
- Hirsute: hairy
- Hoarse: harsh, grating
- Leech: parasite,
- Maladroit: clumsy
- Mediocre: ordinary, of low quality
- Obstreperous: noisy, unruly
- Rancid: offensive, smelly
- Repugnant: distasteful
- Repulsive: disgusting
- Shriek: sharp, screeching sound
- Shrill: high-pitched sound
- Shun: avoid, ostracize
- Slaughter: butcher, carnage
- Unctuous: smug, ingratiating
- Visceral: crude, anatomically graphic
Notice how often attractive words present themselves to define other beautiful ones, and note also how many of them are interrelated, and what kind of sensations, impressions, and emotions they have in common. Also, try enunciating beautiful words as if they were ugly, or vice versa. Are their sounds suggestive of their quality, or does their meaning wholly determine their effect on us?
From Writers Write
by BLH on September 20th, 2010
If you’ve never learned the rules of using dialogue in fiction, it can be bewildering when you hand your first short story in to a teacher and get it back covered in red marks. Nevertheless, the rules of dialogue are an essential and rarely broken law, for good reason: without these standards of how to use dialogue, it would be hopelessly confusing as to who was speaking in a story. If you’re unsure about some of the unwritten rules for dialogue use, brush up on your skills and read on.
- Rule #1: A new speaker makes a new line.
If you have two characters speaking in a story, it’s important to keep it clear who’s speaking. Hemingway often makes things challenging by having long back-and-forths between characters without dialogue tags (tags are “he said” and “she said”). That’s allowed, as long as you make a new line every time someone else is speaking.
The wrong way:
“I wish I could fly,” John said longingly. “Why don’t you grow wings, then?” Sarah snapped back.
This is wrong because we don’t know it is Sarah speaking until we get to the end of the dialogue. The convention tells us that it is still John speaking.
The right way:
“I wish I could fly,” John said longingly.
“Why don’t you grow wings, then?” Sarah snapped back.
With the line break, it keeps the reader on track, knowing that someone else is speaking.
- Rule #2: Quotes, quotes, and quotes
Even a small thing like using the wrong quotation marks can reflect poorly on your story, particularly if it’s being read by an editor or agent. Here are the rules to remember for American standard dialogue use.
Two quotation marks for speech; one mark for speech within speech
“You wouldn’t believe how he treated me,” said Mark. “He said, ‘Go back where you came from!’”
This way, we know for sure who is speaking and whether what is said is a direct quotation or not.
After the jump: rules of thumb for effective dialogue.
- Rule #3: Break up dialogue into two parts
It’s awkward in speech to wait until the end of a speech to give the dialogue tag, because then we don’t know who is speaking for a long time. Instead, give the first thought, then a comma and tag, then go back into dialogue. That way, your reader will be able to picture who is speaking throughout the speech.
The wrong way:
“I can’t believe I failed the test. I studied and studied, but somehow I choked and left most of it blank. I’m probably going to have to retake it,” Mark said.
The right way:
“I can’t believe I failed the test,” said Mark. “I studied and studied, but somehow I choked and left most of it blank.”
- Rule #4: Avoid flashy dialogue tags.
Here’s a bit of shocking news: your elementary school teachers were wrong. They urged you to stretch your vocabulary by using every big word you knew for dialogue. If you do that, though, you end up with a clunky, distracting mess. Here’s an example:
The wrong way:
“You broke my heart!” she screamed.
“It’s not my fault!” he growled.
“But you cheated on me!” she wailed.
“I’m sorry — it just happened,” he stammered.
The problem with this passage is that the tags start overshadowing the actual words being spoken. They’re completely unnecessary. They are often crutches in our writing; in reality, the words themselves should suggest the tone with which they are spoken. In fact, using “he said” and “she said” is so familiar to readers that the words blur into the background, retreating so that the main action of dialogue can come to the fore. That’s why it’s best to keep wordy dialogue tags to a minimum and just use “said” for most of your dialogue. You can also drop tags entirely when it’s clear only two people are talking back and forth.
The right way:
“You broke my heart!” she said.
“It’s not my fault!” he said.
“But you cheated on me!”
“I’m sorry — it just happened.”
- Rule #5: Use action to show who is speaking
Now that you know dialogue 101, you’re ready to move on to advanced dialogue. It can still get tedious to have long strings of back-and-forth dialogue. Instead of using “he said” and “she said” back and forth endlessly, use action both to break up the dialogue and indicate who is speaking. If you have dialogue without tags, whoever is given an action afterward is the implied speaker. Let me show you what I mean.
The wrong way:
Sarah stood up. “I love you, John.” He shrank away shyly.
This is not technically wrong, but it is very unclear, because the convention is that the speaker is who is given action after the dialogue. In this passage, it sounds like it is John who has said “I love you, John.” Here’s how you can make it clear.
The right way:
Sarah stood up. “I love you, John.” She reached out to him longingly.
As you can see, it’s very clear in this passage who is speaking and how her words are linked to her actions. That’s another rule of thumb to keep in mind: most of us talk while doing other things. Don’t stop the story so that your characters can give soliloquies; instead, give them things to do as they talk, whether it’s chopping vegetables or fidgeting nervously.
If you have any other questions about the rules and conventions of dialogue, raise them in the comments and we’ll figure them out together.